Case Study: Healing and Autonomy Nursing Sample Paper

Case Study: Healing and Autonomy Nursing Sample Paper

Write a 1,200-1,500-word analysis of “Case Study: Healing and Autonomy.” In light of the readings, be sure to address the following questions:

  1. Under the Christian narrative and Christian vision, what sorts of issues are most pressing in this case study?Christian narrative and Christian vision
  2. Should the physician allow Mike to continue making decisions that seem to him to be irrational and harmful to James?
  3. According to the Christian narrative and the discussion of the issues of treatment refusal, patient autonomy, and organ donation in the topic readings, how might one analyze this case?
  4. According to the topic readings and lecture, how ought the Christian think about sickness and health? What should Mike as a Christian do? How should he reason about trusting God and treating James?

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Case Study: Healing and Autonomy nursing assignment

Mike and Joanne are the parents of James and Samuel, identical twins born eight years ago. James is currently suffering from acute glomerulonephritis, kidney failure. James was originally brought into the hospital for complications associated with a strep throat infection. The spread of the A streptococcus infection led to the subsequent kidney failure. James’ condition was acute enough to warrant immediate treatment. Usually cases of acute glomerulonephritis caused by strep infection tend to improve on their own, or with an antibiotic. However, James also had elevated blood pressure and enough fluid buildup that required temporary dialysis to relieve.

The attending physician suggested immediate dialysis. After some time of discussion with Joanne, Mike informs the physician that they are going to forego the dialysis and place their faith in God. Mike and Joanne had been moved by a sermon their pastor had given a week ago, and also had witnessed a close friend regain mobility when she was prayed over at a healing service after a serious stroke. They thought it more prudent to take James immediately to a faith healing service instead of putting James through multiple rounds of dialysis. Yet Mike and Joanne agreed to return to the hospital after the faith healing services later in the week, and in hopes that James would be healed by then.

Two days later the family returned, and was forced to place James on dialysis, as his condition had deteriorated. Mike felt perplexed and tormented by his decision to not treat James earlier. Had he not enough faith? Was God punishing him or James? To make matters worse, James kidneys had deteriorated such that his dialysis was now not a temporary matter, and was in need of a kidney transplant. Crushed and desperate, Mike and Joanne immediately offered to donate one of their own kidneys to James, but they were not compatible donors. Over the next few weeks, amidst daily rounds of dialysis, some of their close friends and church members also offered to donate a kidney to James. However, none of them were tissue matches.

James’ nephrologist called to schedule a private appointment with Mike and Joanne. James was stable, given the regular dialysis, but would require a kidney transplant within the year. Given the desperate situation, the nephrologist informed Mike and Joanne of a donor that was an ideal tissue match, but as of yet had not been considered—James’ brother Samuel.

Mike vacillates and struggles to decide whether he should have his other son Samuel lose a kidney, or perhaps wait for God to do a miracle this time around. Perhaps this is where the real testing of his faith will come in? “This time around, it is a matter of life and death, what could require greater faith than that?” Mike reasons.

Sample solution to Case Study: Healing and Autonomy nursing assignment

Paper type: Term Paper
Course Level: Master
Subject Area: Nursing
# Pages: 5

In the health of a Christian, there is always a clash between autonomy and healing. While clinicians pay great attention to the power of autonomy whenever they are entering into a therapeutic relationship with their clients, some Christians always believe that their religious faith and beliefs are enough to promote healing. Such a scenario may be confusing for physicians. According to Roth et al. (2016), healthcare practitioners should offer patient-centered care by ensuring that they recommend treatment interventions which are based on the values and preferences of their patients. Therefore, a doctor who is charged with the responsibility of delivering care to a patient who solely believes in God’s healing powers may find it difficult to create a positive therapeutic relationship. The current case study helps contemporary healthcare practitioners to understand the ethics that surround treatment refusal and organ donation, especially when handling patients who are staunch Christian believers.

The most pressing issues in the current case study concern treatment refusal and organ donation. Mike and Joanne rely on their religious values and beliefs to prevent James from receiving the right treatment as proposed by the doctor. According to the physician, James requires a temporary dialysis for him to regain normal health. However, his parents, who have faith in God’s healing powers defy the doctor’s proposal. Therefore, the end result is a deterioration in health which eventually worsens their son’s condition. In addition, Mike and Joanne want to prevent Samuel from donating a kidney to James. They believe that they will receive positive outcomes this time around if they have a stronger faith in God than before. Precisely, James’ parents are confident that their son will regain good health even without a kidney transplant. Again, they feel that Samuel does not have to lose a kidney to James in order to heal. In reality, a patient who does not undergo dialysis and who fails to have his or her organ replaced whenever those two processes are essential cannot have positive health outcomes. Therefore, from the case study, it is clear that the fact the Mike and Joanne are strong Christian believers makes James feel unnecessary pain.

The physician should apply his professional knowledge in preventing Mike from making decisions that are harmful to James and that seem to be irrational to him. One of the biggest challenges encountered by healthcare practitioners is how to make a decision that generates positive health outcomes for patients while at the same time demonstrating adherence to the set professional standards. From the case study, it is clear that Mike’s decisions are harmful to James and are contrary to the ethical code of physicians’ conducts. Therefore, the doctor should strive to divert Mike’s conceptualization of sickness and healing. Basically, he should be able to make a decision that will generate positive health for James while at the same time adhering to professional ethics and standards (Sidhu & Srinivasraghavan, 2016).

The best way through which the doctors can influence Mike to make rational decisions s by explaining to Mike the benefits of treatment and organ translation based on the assumptions of various ethical theories and principles. The two ethical theories that are relevant to the current case study are utilitarianism and deontological ethics. According to Mandal, Ponnambath, and Parija (2016), utilitarianism ethics defines the morality of an action based on its impacts. In this respect, a given action is moral provided it generates happiness and pleasure to the largest number of interested parties. In the current scenario, the actions that will generate maximum happiness and pleasure are giving James an opportunity to receive the recommended treatment and allowing Samuel to donate a kidney to simplify the entire process. As far as deontological ethics is concerned, the morality of an action is defined by its ability to adhere to the set rules. This ethical theory assumes that a given conduct becomes ethical only if it the actor would wish that it becomes a universal law (Mandal, Ponnambath, & Parija, 2016). From the Christian narrative, one would not wish that refusal of treatment becomes a universal law owing to its associated impacts. The moral act, therefore, is to support the implementation of the physician’s treatment recommendations.

Furthermore, the doctor can influence Mike’s decision using two major ethical principles. The moral principles which are relevant to the current case and beneficence and non-maleficence. Beneficence is an ethical principle that requires healthcare professionals to engage in actions that will generate maximum benefits for their clients (Sidhu & Srinivasraghavan, 2016). By relying on the principle, the doctor should advise Mike the goal of care is to ensure that the patient receives positive health outcomes. Therefore, the best action to be taken it to treat James as initially proposed. Besides, the principle of non-maleficence encourages practitioners to minimize harm. From the Christian narrative, preventing James from obtaining treatment are recommended by the doctor will only generate negative impacts for him. Therefore, the most appropriate action is to proceed with the organ transplantation procedure as it will minimize harm for the patient. As he strives to prevent Mike from making an irrational judgment, the doctor should remind him that he should trust in God to provide good health for his two sons.

The given scenario can be analyzed based on three different issues namely, autonomy, treatment refusal, and organ donation. With respect to autonomy, the doctor is professionally required to allow his or her clients to select a treatment option that they feel to be most suitable (Sidhu & Srinivasraghavan, 2016). The three issues appear in two forms in the given case. First, since James is a minor, he relies on Mike and Joanne’s decision on the nature of care that would be appropriate for him. Unfortunately, his parents have decided to refuse him the right treatment, which impacts negatively on his life. Second, Samuel, who is also a minor, relies on Mike and Joanne to decide as to whether he should donate a kidney. According to his parents, he should not lose one of his organs, yet God is powerful enough to heal James even without the transplant. Therefore, it can be concluded that the boys’ parents have used their autonomy in a manner that has generated negative health outcomes for James. Precisely, they have utilized their power to refuse James the right treatment and to prevent Samuel from donating his kidney.

The topic’s readings teach Christians about how they should think about sickness and health. As McCormick (2014) explains, Christians should understand that both health and sickness are certain physiological processes that both serve to strengthen their faith in God. The researcher further asserts that believers must understand that humankind must be sick at times and it is their responsibility to encourage victims through constant prayers. Although Christians are taught to trust in God during ill-health, they are advised to seek medical advice whenever they are faced with such challenges. In this respect, every believer should aim to assist sick people to obtain care from the best medical facilities (Isacco et al. 2016). According to McCormick (2014), it is written in the Bible that Christians should show compassion to the sick. As Christians, Joanne and Mike should learn from this statement and engage in actions that will relieve James from pain. Again, they should not deny Samuel from donating a kidney to facilitate James’ treatment. Rather, the two parents need to have faith that their sons will be safe in the hands of the doctors. They should also trust in God to encourage James and Samuel to remain strong following implementation of the recommended medical procedures.

To sum everything up, Christians should have a comprehensive understanding of autonomy and healing and their impact on health outcomes. The Christian narrative analyzed provides additional knowledge of how religious beliefs can influence the health of believers and their children. For instance, Mike and Joanne have used their religious autonomy to expose James to unnecessary pain. Ideally, it is the responsibility of the healthcare practitioner to ensure that their clients’ cultural and religious beliefs do not have a negative impact on their therapeutic relationships. The events of the given case teach Christians to show compassion to the sick and to seek medical advice in times of illness, as they continue to trust in God to provide healing.


Isacco, A., Sahker, E., Krinock, E., Sim, W. & Hamilton, D. (2016). How religious beliefs and practices influence the psychological health of catholic priests. American Journal of Men’s Health, 10(4), 325-37. doi: 10.1177/1557988314567325.

Mandal, J., Ponnambath, D., & Parija, S. (2016). Utilitarianism and deontological ethics in medicine. Tropical Parasitology, 6(1), 5-7. doi:10.4103/2229-5070.175024

McCormick, T. R. (2014). Spirituality and medicine. Washington, DC: University of Washington Press.

Roth, D., L, Usher, T., Clark, E. M. & Holt, C. (2016). Religious involvement and health over time: Predictive effects in a National sample of African Americans. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 55(2), 417-424. doi:  10.1111/jssr.12269

Sidhu, N., & Srinivasraghavan, J. (2016). Ethics and medical practice: Why psychiatry is unique. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 58(2), S199-S202.

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